J.-H. Li


Controlled drugs are psychoactive drugs with dependence (addiction) and abuse potentials. They evolved from free-trade goods to scheduled substances that are strictly regulated in the United Nations drug-related Conventions. This paper began with a brief review on the history of addictive substance abuse in Taiwan. Then the progress of controlled-drug-related law enactment and the functions of National Narcotics Bureau and its successor, National Bureau of Controlled Drugs, were succinctly depicted. The experiences of substance abuse prevention and control, which have been accumulated in the past two decades since the methamphetamine deluge, have evolved into a controlled-drug regulatory system that now conforms to the spirit of the three UN anti-drug Conventions in general and a comprehensive system for the surveillance and prevention of substance abuse. However, according to the present substance-abuse problems and future developing trend, it is advised that (1) the operation of scheduling system should be more expertized and the inspection should be further strengthened; (2) whether the narcotic manufacturing maintains the status quo as a monopoly or seeks privatization should be based on the benefit of the general public; (3) in addition to the law enforcement from the supply side, a thorough anti-drug strategy should be equipped with a monitoring and reporting system for early substance-abuse detection and surveillance, a proactive education program that touches the need of the risk groups and a cost-effective and humanistic treatment program.